making of

leaving things out

Today’s picture: an “idealized” landscape, for once not in watercolor, but in oil. I painted it over the weekend on a medium sized canvas, from memory, following a watercolor sketch.

Here’s the watercolor sketch:

watercolor sketch

Watercolor of a creek in evening gold.

This one is even smaller, a sketch, about A5, allowing to see what the original picture was all about. The original was a horrible picture (that I do not have at hand, sorry) that really got onto my nerves and I sort of failed a couple of times with the water colors, hence I decided to go there in oil.

A couple of observations, all true for perfumery, too:

Sometimes leaving things out helps.

Sometimes adding things helps.

Dramatization sometimes helps.

Idealisation sometimes helps.

But here’s the thing: All the above combined leads to a slippery road towards… KITSCH. Therefore, another observation, true for perfumery, too:

Banalization sometimes results from trying hard to please.

So, here in the house of tauer, we discussed whether we might hang on the oil color that you see to the left on our wall. We are not sure. Would you?

On the other hand, it is fun to play with clichés. Serve the cliché and break it at the same time. In a sense, this is exactly what I did with Gardenia Sotto la luna. With “sotto la luna” I scrape past  a couple of clichés, you know: The moon, the night, flowers under the moon. With the scent “gardenia” I broke this spell, adding a twist. If the gardenia in sotto la luna was a perfect nice simple gardenia soliflower like you find it everywhere: First, there would be no reason to try it. There are enough nice little gardenias out there. Second, you would rightfully look at it and probably say: Nice, but not for my wall.

In the oil picture, I was seriously tempted to add an empty Coke can, swimming in the water, all red; breaking the cliché. Here’s the funny thing: I did not because, somehow, I just loved the picture the way it was.